Can I get some congratulations?! I'll take PayPal donations for celebratory drinks (until next Sunday it's still a celebration) or e-cards are good too. The Buffalo Bills did what most everyone except Bills Nation thought was impossible...beating the Raiders 38-35 (with 14 seconds to go!) to secure a 2-0 start to the season (the first since 2008).
But what does that 2-0 start really mean?
For starters, it means the Bills are already halfway to last season's record of 4-12. Unless we lose almost every other game this season (which is highly improbable based on the past two weeks of encouraging gameplay), we're definitely on track to improving, which is the whole goal here (I'm slightly skewed in my optimism but not completely delusional...no Super Bowl expectations here).
It also means the Bills are riding high on confidence right now, which will undoubtedly affect what we see on the field each week going forward. Buffalo Bills players and fans have to remain positive and confident to survive (Unless you're part of the Bills family, you'll think I'm just being dramatic, but it's true!) but having legit REASONS (or proof) to Billieve is bound to be 181% more effective.
The Bills entered the second half on Sunday down by 18. Instead of trying their hardest (like they always do) but coming up short, they posted 21 unanswered points. With 14 seconds left, instead of going for that touchdown but not quite getting it, David Nelson caught a perfect pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick (It was the strangest feeling to be overwhelmed with disbelief joy instead of feeling my heart drop). The Bills are always fighters but this time they didn't fall apart at the end, they finished a game, which means now they know they can.
So next Sunday when they host New England, the Patriots better watch their back. Yes, Tom Brady has an inexplicable way of digging himself out of any hole and getting things done, but Fitz proved that holds true for him, too.
The Bills are a young team but that young team rallied and gave Bills fans what they've been craving for awhile: a homeopener win (or a win in general).
David Nelson recorded 83 yards, 10 catches and the game-winning touchdown. There's no doubt in my mind he's going to be hungry for more.
Stevie Johnson proved why he's the No.1 receiver, with 96 yards, 8 receptions and one touchdown. His quest to prove last year wasn't an anomaly is well on track to success.
Freddy J barreled through for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He might be helping groom CJ Spiller but he's clearly not ready to give up his title of top rusher just yet.
And speaking of Spiller, he's already proving why he was a top draft pick last year, with 63 yards on 4 carries. This week, he'll bear the brunt of returns with Roscoe Parrish on injured reserve. Last season, he had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in their first meeting with New England. Deja vu, anyone?
And, of course, the man behind the blooming offense: Fitz. He did a great job of stepping into the role of starting QB by taking charge. It's clear that his line knows he'll throw anywhere he sees an opportunity, so the WRs and TE Scott Chandler are on alert and on point.
Ok, and I'll give props to the O-line. Clearly that corps has been getting the memo about when and where the game is this season because the offensive line actually exists...it's not perfect, but it exists. Finally.
The game looked like a battle of the defenses but the Bills' rush D was fairly decent. Oakland was supposed to test the secondary on the ground but the Bills held them to 131 yards. And, Jason Campbell looked GOOD...like he could actually play football...so looks like stopping the pass might be a bit more worrisome.
The game was spastic and unpredictable, much like this recap. I can't adequately express what it did to me but like I predicted, I was a mess of emotions and it WAS totally worth it. I went from talking myself into Billieving to blaming my dad for our deficit (He was watching the game at a Hooters with friends and last time the Bills played Oakland we watched the game at a Hooters and they lost. I'm logical, I know) to NOT Billieving that we were actually winning to wondering why on Earth I didn't have a drink to ease my almost-broken heart to collapsing on the floor in joy and relief. Intense.
Can't wait for Sunday's game! Sportscasters always say "it's hard to win in Buffalo" but now it just might be a little harder.